This little guy knows a thing or two about endurance. He endured many a “time out” or two. I endured giving many a “time out” or two. Per day. When he was between the ages of 3 and 4, he sat by trees, in chairs, at the edge of swimming pools, on stools, walls, and on the sidewalk. He was quite consistent with pushing boundaries, which as you mommas out there know, meant I needed to try to be consistent with responding to them.
And for that I needed endurance. Big time! Many times I considered turning a blind eye to what needed to be addressed because my mommy-endurance was fading. Phew. Thank goodness that this stage didn’t last too too long. And thank goodness that we only need to endure one time out, one altercation, one issue, one moment at a time. I think that’s a crucial part of the key to endurance. Living in the moment, one moment at a time.
We laugh about it now. I have pictures of Chase in time outs all over the place. (This one is my favorite though!) Did the endurance pay off? I think it did. He still has the stubborn, tenacious spirit that will help him to endure many ups and downs of life, but by the time he was 5, he learned a thing or two about respecting boundaries! I want to believe it made a difference.
Discipline is never fun. But it is for our good. Our long term, deeply-impacting good.
Hebrews 12:5-10 says, “and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him. For those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12: 5-10.
I want to believe that in disciplining my son, I helped to “make straight paths for his feet”, and encourage his strength and tenacity and endurance to be used for the right things in the right direction. And now, as my family goes through some “time-outs” of our own, I want to believe that God will use them for our good and His glory. Because, after the discipline, comes the freedom. After Chase sat in that time-out at the park, he ran and laughed and played and his conscience was clear.The “sentence” was over and he was free to enjoy his little 4 year old life with lessons learned. May we endure discipline with the deeply abiding belief that God is good. And He is with us. And………weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (or the time after the time-out!)